On 22 January 2013, UNV Executive Coordinator Richard Dictus moderated a roundtable exchange between UN organizations in Bonn and Members of the German Parliamentary Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development.
Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme welcomed his first official visitors to the United Nations in Bonn on 22 January 2013. Mr Dictus moderated a roundtable exchange between UN organizations within the UN family in Bonn and Members of the German Parliamentary Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development.
Members of the German Parliament present were: Dr Christian Ruck (head of delegation), Dr Sascha Raabe, Ms Helga Daub, Mr Niema Movassat, and Ms Ute Koczy.
After Richard warmly welcomed the group to the Langer Eugen building (home of the UN in Bonn since 2006 and originally of parliamentarians' offices in Germany) representatives from the Secretariats of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the World Health Organization European Centre for Environment and Health (WHO-ECEH) presented their work and specific mandate.
The strong ties between Germany and the United Nations were apparent in the many partner projects on sustainable development.
Richard explained UNVs focus on a new youth volunteer programme which will be launched in 2013. He also emphasized the important role the more than 7,300 UN Volunteers play in peace and development for UN activities worldwide. Questions about South- South cooperation from the parliamentarians were answered by Richard with the affirmative:
Over 80 percent of all UN Volunteers come from the developing world. People with expertise in areas such as governance, human rights, environment, legal affairs, or medicine take up volunteer assignments and join communities that may be dealing with similar issues that they have already run across in their lives. This is a true exchange of knowledge and capacity building within the South.
Mr Daniele Violetti, Chief of Staff at UNFCCC, explained the mechanisms of the Climate Change Convention Secretariat and its Kyoto Protocol and answered questions from the parliamentarians on Small Island States and the way forward after the Doha conference.
Mr Mansour N'Diaye, Chef de Cabinet of UNCCD, highlighted the relationship land degradation and hardship, along with poverty and civil unrest, has for more than 2 billion people worldwide. Ms Bettina Menne, Programme Manager at WHO-ECEH, explained the specific mandate of her organization in relationship to health and the environment.
Dr Christian Ruck thanked all speakers and said that the UN in Bonn is truly a treasure of knowledge that the parliamentarians will reach for more often in their debates on sustainable development issues. Both sides expressed interest in keeping a more dynamic dialogue going between the United Nations in Bonn and the Committee.